Pain is mainly caused by injury or disease which protects us by telling us something is wrong. It comes in two forms: acute pain, which is severe and short-lived, and chronic pain, which is less intense but is experienced over a long period, sometimes permanently.
There are three types of acute pain: somatic pain, which is superficial and is felt on the skin or the tissue just below, such as a burn or abrasion. Visceral pain comes from a problem with internal organs, such as appendicitis; and referred pain is felt away from the source of tissue damage, like the shoulder pain felt during a heart attack. Acute pain needs an immediate response whereas chronic pain, which can be experienced almost continuously, requires steady, thoughtful treatment that might include lifestyle changes in combination with therapy and medication.
When you feel pain what is your body trying to tell you? With short, sudden pain, such as a burn, your body reacts involuntarily and immediately by moving away from or protecting itself from the cause. But what about long term pain conditions? With chronic pain the body’s “fight or flight” reaction has wound down as the nervous system adapts to the pain stimulus, but the pain continues to be felt.
The causes and effects of chronic pain are not straightforward and can make it difficult to treat. It’s further complicated by some of us being more sensitive to pain than others. Dr Moalem-Taylor of Sydney University’s School of Medicine explains that this is due to how individual bodies modulate pain. She says that pain receptors respond differently from person to person to a particular stimulus, and that the pain pathways are themselves complicated, which can reduce or increase the level of pain we experience.
To help address chronic pain symptoms, such as inflammation and muscle tension, Chiropractors have a tool box of non-surgical and drug-free treatments to call on. To begin treating chronic pain, it is important to identify the causes. At your first appointment your Chiropractor will carry out a physical examination and possibly some tests to determine the source of the pain. After that, he or she will work with you to design a treatment plan, which may include spinal manipulation, manual therapies, and therapeutic exercises. As you continue through your treatment plan, you should be able to gradually increase your daily activities with greater ease and less pain. If your pain doesn’t subside you will then be referred to another specialist for further investigations.
If you would like to find out the potential cause of your pain, you can call one of our Chiropractors on 9726 7400 to make your appointment